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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Now Eugene Wamalwa to run for governor 2017

Governor Patrick Khaemba is a beleaguered man.
At first it was Noah Wekesa whom he would point fingers at for allegedly undermining his leadership as the Trans Nzoia governor.  He beat Wekesa in the 2013 gubernatorial race.
Then came Eugene Wamalwa, the new Ford-Kenya NFK leader.   Khaemba had to tell Wamalwa to give him time to develop the county.  This was after it had become apparent Wamalwa had criss-crossed the county asking residents to vote for him to succeed Khaemba in 2017.
Governor Khaemba shifted the game to another 2013 contestant Kakai Bisau after Bisau shifted from Wamalwa’s NFK to Ford Kenya. It will be interesting to see Bisau face off Khaemba in the FK nominations should the Trans Nzoia governor decide to stick with the party ahead of the 2017 polls.
Khaemba seems not contended with Moses Wetangula’s party. Even his communication team once covered him indicating that the governor was likely to jump gun to the recently formed Jubilee Alliance Party that would collapse the TNA and URP coalitions of Uhuru Kenyatta and his William Ruto.
After clearing with Bisau, the Trans Nzoia county boss has now picked a fresh quarrel with Cosmas Nabongolo who has declared to take on him in 2017.
In an unpleasant and unsavoury language against the principal of St Anthony Boys Secondary School, Governor Khaemba is dismissing Nabongolo as a non-starter being fronted by the Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa.  Khaemba is reading mischief in the move by Chris to bring Nabongolo on the FK board.
The Trans Nzoia governor has decided to ignore his other 2013 opponent Joel Gesuka, originating from the Kisii.  Gesuka seems to have lost steam and is currently rehabilitating his business.
At one time, he threatened his finance CEC member Andrew Wanyonyi with sacking but instead moved him to the less-fancied agriculture docket after word went round that he was eyeing his seat.
One person who seems to have his wings clipped by Khaemba is Fr Godfrey Shihundu who has been offered a contract as the director of risk management at the county government.  He vied for the seat on Wiper.
A new entrant for the gubernatorial race Mike Mbito enjoying Jap support is riding high with compliments from across various communities in the county.
Mbito who was instrumental to the recent URP’s Philip Sakong’s victory in Matumbei civic by-election is said to have been endorsed by his Sabaot community for the governor’s seat and is expected to seek for votes from the other tribes.
Mbito was Bisau’s running mate in 2013 and has since opted to remain neutral despite the latter decamping NFK for FK.
It now remains a daunting task for Mbito to identify the party ticket he will ride on in 2017 and a formula that will assist him ascend to power.
The rallying of Chris for Nabongolo for the governor’s slot seals the debate for the Kiminini legislator to rival Khaemba. 
This leaves Chris with the option of defending his parliamentary seat or contesting the senatorial slot.
But for the senatorial race, one thing is clear:  incumbent Henry Ole Ndiema is not yet over with the seat.
“Who said I will not go for the second term?” he asked media persons at a Kitale hotel in his 2014 end year briefing.
This leaves Ole Ndiema to battle it our with Kipruto Kirwa allied to Eugene’s NFK.  Another 2013 trialist Bishop Maelo has since gone to South Africa  in NGO business while Robert Wamalwa (Eugene’s brother) of Pick Party is working in Khaemba’s office.
Nominated Senators Zipporah Kittony and Catherine Mukite may not seek for elective positions owing to various logistical challenges. Senator Beatrice Kanaiza despite owning property in the area has not shown any interest in the county’s politics. Human rights activist Ken Simiyu is yet to declare.
For the women’s representation slot, the incumbent Janet Nangabo is still leading the pack with Christine Tanguli giving a close chase.  TNA nominated MCA Naomi Okul and Justina Sitti are also closing on the gap but Nangago has vowed to show them why the incumbency favours her.  Nangabo is also counting on her interaction with residents for her second term having worked as a councillor in the old government by system of Local Authorities.
 Should Chris not shift base from Kiminini, the first term lawmaker will be facing the likes of Alfred Wamang’oli, Priscilla Kamau, Joseph Wanyama, Martin Nangole son of former Trans Nzoia county chairman Maurice Nangole, Bishops Moses Zawedi and Julius Mbagaya.  However, the last two will have it rough explaining why they would return to seek for elective politics after being absorbed in Khaemba’s kitchen cabinet.
It became apparent  that Alfred Wamang’oli had received support from Priscilla Kamau when the latter’s aides met him at Kiminini and asked him to assist the local youths in obtaining identity cards.
The race for Saboti constituency has yet to attract bigwigs to rival the MP David Lazaro. Having started on low key, Lazaro has risen to become the darling of the residents, most of them who are farmers. Except for Jonas Kuko and Omar Mutacho, the 2013 other aspirant have gone quiet.  It therefore will remain an uphill task challenging Lazaro.
In Kwanza, legistlator Ferdinard Wanyonyi is facing a group of youthful aspirants out to humiliate him.  From a county official Moses Lupao to Willian Ruto’s legal adviser Abraham Sing’oei to Richard Chesebe and ex-Kitale Mayor Joshua Werunga, Wanyonyi is spared little space to breath. Waningilo Walubengo is another force to watch.  However, all said and done, all eyes are set on either Lupao or Sing’oei.  The political parties of the duo will also play a role in the decision in the King of Kwanza constituency.
And in Endebess, MP Robert Pukose is accused of sidelining certain communities in the area.  For example, the MP is alleged to have trooped his cronies and relatives in the CDF and his constituency offices at the expense of other local communities.
An aspirant Paul Moiben is not happy because Pukose has concentrated efforts on school buying buses instead of first developing the schools and infrastructure.  He says he will be the “indigenous” MP if elected unlike before when former area legislators including Wekesa and the late George Kapten and now Pukose are “outsiders”.
But Pukose has denied the allegations saying he is working on a strategy to ensure Jap snatches all the five parliamentary slots, 25 civic seats, gubernatorial and senatorial seats in 2017.
Pukose will have to first fight the forces of the likes of Jennifer Masis, Albert Gumo and Michael Kittiyo before sitting pretty sure of making a comeback. Nathan Psiwa and DC Godfrey who were also eyeing the seat are now eyeing to be Wamalwa’s running mates.
The Cherang’any seat will still make interesting challenges.  From the time of Masinde Muliro to Kirwa, the seat has always made surprises.  The ousting of Joshua Kuttuny by the then novice athlete Wisley Korir was such a surprise.  Both NFK and FK have to assert themselves if they are to overturn the Jap influence in the area. 
Should Korir and Kuttuny cluster themselves in Jap, then one of them will have to seek for recourse elsewhere.  Moses Buyela allied to NFK is yet to make his decision for the Cherangany seat or for the Kiminini ward as an MCA. Deputy governor Stanley will have to join the Cherangany bandwagon if Khaemba does not retain him in his line-up.
Lest the political parties forget, the Matumbei URP tsunami is still fresh in the minds of most Trans Nzoia residents. But insiders say the Luhya community will vote as a block in the 2017 polls to teach a lesson to the smaller tribes.